Brechin City 2, Cowdenbeath 2
BRECHIN City can go into their final fixture of the 2011-2012 campaign safe in the knowledge that they will be playing second division footie again next season.
The high hopes the club had of making it into one of the top four slots in the league did not come to pass, a dip in form in early spring resulting in what will be a final seventh spot in the table.
But, City showed again on Saturday, that, on their day, they are more than capable of mixing it with the best the division has to offer, giving newly-crowned champions Cowdenbeath plenty to think about by racing into a two-goal lead.
The visitors hit back to level, but the end two-two result ensures that the men from Glebe Park are no longer looking over the shoulders at the possibility of slipping into an area where they could have been facing a play-off to retain second-division status.
Instead, City can head west in relaxed mode to take on Dumbarton in the season’s finale at New Strathclyde Stadium this Saturday.
It was always going to be a tough ninety minutes for the home side on Saturday, and Cowden came close to opening the scoring within seconds of the game getting underway, Lewis Coult heading just wide from a Marc McKenzie cross.
But it was City who took the lead from the penalty spot midway through the half.
Thomas O’Brien was judged to have fouled Rory McKeznie in the box, and the on-loan player from Kilmarnock dusted himself down to tuck away the spot-kick.
Three minutes later and the home side were two in front, this time McKenzie fastening on to a Craig Molloy pass to slot the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
But Cowden are a dangerous side going forward and they clawed themselves back into the game on the half hour mark, a Dean Brett free-kick being knocked down by Coult for Marc McKenzie to pick his spot.
The sides were level eight minutes into the second period, John Armstrong heading home a Lewis Milne corner.
That was the end of the scoring, both sides having to settle for a point, taking City’s tally for the season to 41 from 35 games, two better off than near neighbours Forfar Athletic, who face a nervy final match of the season as they bid to avoid a play-off situation to avoid the drop down a division.
Despite having survived to compete again in the Scottish second division, manager Jim Weir said it was nothing to celebrate.
“It is a big disappointment to me that I’m standing here saying we are still in this division after all our hard work last season and our efforts to bring in the right type of players,” he commented after Saturday’s game.
“We must now try to build for next season and four or five of our players have agreed to sign on again.
“I have also been in talks to bring in new players who will help us challenge in this league.”
Brechin City - Nelson, Fusco, Dunlop, Buist, Moyes, McKenzie, Brady, Molloy, Hodge, Lister (Carcary) and McKenna (King).
Cowdenbeath - Wilson, Brett, Linton (Byrne), Mbu, Armstrong, McKenzie (Cusack), Milne, O’Brien, Coult, Lyle and Ramsay (Miller).
Referee - Barry Cook; crowd - 487.